Baby formula shortages have been in the news since the COVID-19 pandemic, but these shortages were compounded last year when Abbott, a main supplier of United States baby formula, had a manufacturing plant shut down due to an FDA investigation into bacterial contamination that resulted in two infant deaths.

The shortage of baby formula has mostly been resolved, but this article examines the causes of the shortage and updates on the steps that have been taken to prevent shortages in the future.

Why is There a Baby Formula Shortage?

The baby formula shortage 2022 was caused in part by supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19  pandemic, especially shortages of ingredients derived from cow’s milk. These shortages continued into 2022 and were made worse by the Abbott baby formula shortage.

What Caused the Baby Formula Shortage with Abbott?

Abbott is one of the main suppliers of baby formula in the United States, and one of their main manufacturing plants in Sturgis, Michigan, was temporarily shut down by the FDA.

The FDA shut down this manufacturing facility temporarily for investigation because four babies became ill, and two infants died from a rare bacterial infection after consuming baby formula from the company.

Why the Baby Formula Shortage Ended

The baby formula shortage ended partly because supply chain disruptions from the COVID pandemic have tapered, and the U.S. Government took steps to ensure that the supply of baby formula was restored. Below you can see how these measures affected the shortage ending and the current status of these measures.

Baby Formula Shortage Bill Updates

To help reduce the impact of the baby formula shortage, Congress passed the Bulk Infant Formula to Retail Shelves Act to boost formula production, which temporarily eliminated tariffs on bulk formula.

This is in addition to actions taken by Biden and the Biden administration, including invoking the Defense Production Act, launching Operation Fly Formula (which created partnerships with the Department of Defense to airship critical baby formula supplies), reviewing WIC procedures to give increased access to formula for families relying on WIC, and cracking down on price gouging that ran rampant as the supply of formula was reduced.

Abbott Infant Baby Formula Shortage Updates

Abbott was also allowed a partial re-opening of their Sturgis facility after an initial investigation by the FDA, and after an investigation by the FDA and follow-up to FDA’s recommendations, the facility fully reopened, and production was restored to previous levels.

FDA Baby Formula Shortage Updates

Since the initial investigation on Abbott, the FDA has also internally reviewed policies and procedures to ensure that future manufacturing standards prevent future illnesses. You can view FDA reports here.

Adoption and Formula

As we mentioned in our previous article, as an adoption agency, we do not provide infant formula. However, many adoptive families rely on infant formula. Some adoptive parents also choose to use milk banks or induce lactation.

To read more about these options, you can click here. You can also get help from an adoption professional to get started on your adoption journey today.